Mattingly Peak sits within the very southern end of the Sawtooth Wilderness Area in an area that is rarely visited. At the south-east foot of the mountain there lies several beautiful lakes backed by cliffs on two sides. The lakes' outlet spills another 800 vertical feet down to Mattingly Creek, which eventually drains into the Middle Fork of the Boise River near Atlanta.
This part of the Sawtooths is high and wild, but with broader valleys and more expansive trailside views than in the more popular Alice Lake/ Redfish Creek/ Iron Creek drainages.
Mattiingly itself is part of a high ridge with three summits. Mattiingly is the tallest, but just to the east is a lower, more dramatic summit that bears investigation. By the map this lower summit is part of Mattingly, but it does have over 300' prominence.
From the top of Mattingly, you get great views from an unusual perspective. You can look deep into the Boise mountains, and Castle Peak in the White clouds looks very prominent. The southern aspect of the Sawtooths is really cool, and you have a clear view of Glens, Plummer, and Everly Peaks. Elk Peak blocks the view of Warbonnet and the Monte Verita ridge, which is notable because you can see Warbonnet from just about all the other peaks.
There are several ways to approach Mattingly Peak, all of them long. The Routes section below gives two. With either of these two routes, the climbing is mostly Class 2 hiking with about 50 feet of optional Class 3 scrambling to the summit.
Getting ThereThe easiest access is from the Alturas Lake trailhead. To get to the trailhead, drive approximately 30 miles south of Stanley (or 35 miles north of Ketchum) on Highway 75. Take the well-marked Alturas Lake turnoff and drive to the lake. At the lake, turn right and follow the (still paved) road past the lake, where it turns into a rough dirt road that is passable by passenger cars. The trailhead is at the road's end, where you will find a large parking lot and concrete toilet.
Note that the Alturas Lake Creek trail is open to motorcycles.
RoutesThere are two routes to access the south-east face of this peak:
From the trailhead (7100'), walk about 300 yards and proceed up Alpine Creek. Follow the trail for about 3 miles, then follow your map (you do have a map, right? you'll want one for this route) to cross Alpine Creek and head for the lake at 8560'. From the lake, climb up over the ridge, then contour the cliffs above Mattingly Lake around to Mattingly.
About 7 miles (4 off-trail) and 3200' gain.
Follow Alturas Lake Creek trail (open to motorcycles) and then take the trail up and over the pass to Mattingly Creek. Drop down to about 8100' and contour across the creek that drains Mattingly Lakes. On the west side of the creek, head up to the lakes, then head up the SE face.
About 10 miles (1.5 off-trail) and 3600' gain.
Red TapeNone at the trailhead.
A Wilderness Permit is required for the Wilderness Area, but you can self-issue at any of the kiosks found on the trails.
CampingAlturas Lake has several really nice Forest Service campgrounds. There is also dispersed camping along the dirt road on the way to the trailhead.
Sawtooth National Forest
Smiley Creek web cam (choose View 2)
Stanley cam and current weather
Sawtooth national Forest Avalanche Center
For additional information on this climb and other peaks in the area, please see Tom Lopez's excellent book, Idaho: A Climbing Guide.